As an Expat and at one time a Repat - I understand!
Repatriates often find it helpful to get assistance from professionals who have walked in their shoes. There is no substitute for the lived-in experience – both personally and professionally.
This discussion's main objective is to empower you, if you are in this situation,
to discover and develop strengths and abilities through increased self-awareness.
Through this process, you can become aware of and eventually reduce the self-limiting beliefs, which can be the barriers in working toward self-actualization and your maximum potential.
Let's talk more about these issues -
Repatriation can be a far more challenging experience repatriates than we think!
I can say this from both my personal and professional experience.
Repatriates often believe that they can fit seamlessly into their former culture; unfortunately, it's usually not always the case.
Depending on the length of time you’ve lived in a foreign country, you may discover upon your return that things have changed more than you ever imagined.
As an expat, your memories of people, places, and the way of life are often frozen in the period you left.
However, it’s never the same – because psychologically you have grown and evolved, your country of origin moved on – but your expectations have remained the same, emotionally you stay attached/connected to the “home” you remember, frozen in time, in most cases.
In your mind, you have romanticized your country of origin, so you repatriate with certain expectations. These expectations are quickly crushed, leaving you feeling disappointed.
The friends you’ve left behind are not the same; they have different priorities and needs, you may not enjoy the same things, the places that were familiar to you may no longer be there, and certainly not the way you remembered.
Your family of origin may have recalibrated without you, and you are struggling to find yourself and fit in. Even more distressing, your family may expect you to fit into your old roles, and you have moved on and out of that expectation.
These experiences may leave you feeling unsupported; you may notice:
A loss of confidence
You may experience confusion
You may experience feelings of inadequacy
You may experience an identity crisis
A culture shock, yes, in your culture of origin!
If these experiences go unaddressed, they can lead to anxiety and even depression.
You may not know why you are struggling - you may become impatient with yourself.
Self-limiting belief: You should not be struggling and maybe something is wrong with you if you are struggling.
As a repat, when you try to explain your frustrations to friends, extended family members, colleagues, and even employers, they may not understand. So you end up feeling unheard and misunderstood.
Professionally the repat experience can poor concentration and eventually lower productivity in your work environment.
You don’t have to feel this way- you can get help. When you explore your challenges and options, you will discover new strategies to recapture your confidence to work toward your maximum potential.
The process of setting goals, managing your expectations, and adjusting your standard to promote new viewpoints will help you generate solutions that can help you attain your goals.
Sherry M Jerimie LCSW-R
Founder - ENRICH